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France Agrees to Transfer 30 UAE-Owned Mirage 2000-9 Fighter Jets to Morocco

Initially, Paris intended to donate the Mirage aircraft to assist Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. However, the UAE redirected the jets to Morocco to help the North African country address regional instability, particularly in light of potential conflicts with Algeria.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — France has agreed to facilitate the transfer of 30 Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets, previously owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to Morocco.

This move is aimed at bolstering Morocco’s defense capabilities amid regional tensions, particularly with its neighbor, Algeria.

The transaction, which had been delayed for three years, was finalized after France initially intended to redirect the UAE’s Mirage jets to Ukraine.

France had planned to donate the aircraft to Ukraine to aid in its conflict with Russia, but the UAE opted instead for the jets to be transferred to Morocco to address its security concerns with Algeria.

Additionally, the UAE, which possesses a total of 62 Mirage 2000-9 jets, also plans to transfer some of these aircraft to Egypt.

Mirage
UAE’s Mirage 2000-9 fighter jet

 

Reports from Jakarta indicate that Indonesia expressed interest in acquiring 12 UAE-owned Mirage 2000-9 jets to bridge a “capability gap” until it receives the Rafale fighters ordered from France.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, now President-designate, mentioned ongoing negotiations to secure these jets last June.

Jakarta had also shown interest in acquiring Qatar-owned Mirage 2000-5 jets but cancelled these plans earlier this year.

Any transfer of the Mirage 2000-9, developed by Dassault Aviation, to third parties requires approval from France, the country of origin.

The UAE discontinued the service of its Mirage 2000-9 jets after acquiring 80 Rafale fighters from France in 2021, receiving a majority of these aircraft already.

Mirage
Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets from the UAE Air Force set to be transferred to Morocco.

 

There are also rumors that the UAE intends to increase its Rafale fleet from France.

 The Mirage 2000-9 jets owned by the UAE have been upgraded, including modern radar and targeting pod systems developed by Thales.

These enhancements ensure that any recipient of these aircraft gains a highly capable fighter jet equipped with modern equipment and components.

For the Royal Moroccan Air Force, the addition of the Mirage 2000-9 jets from the UAE will significantly enhance its operational capabilities immediately.

Currently, the Royal Moroccan Air Force operates Mirage F-1, F-5, and F-16C/D squadrons.

Maghribi
Morocco Air Force’s F-16 fighter jet

 

The North African country has also agreed to acquire the latest F-16 Block 70 variant and upgrade its existing F-16 fleet to the Block 70 standard.

 Moreover, the Royal Moroccan Air Force has expressed interest in becoming the first African country to own the fifth-generation F-35 fighter, developed by Lockheed Martin, as part of its modernization efforts to compete with Algeria’s air force, which has been acquiring the latest Russian-made fighter jets.

Algeria is also mentioned as the first export market for Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet, the Su-57. — DSA

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